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TSSA members at London Underground vote for strike action

30 November 2016

Customer Service Assistants on London's Underground have voted to take part in inductrial action including strikes to underline their worries about their own diminished safety at work and the decline in passenger service and safety standards on the tube.

Front-line staff report being on the receiving end of unprecedented levels of verbal and physical abuse from passengers following the introduction by Transport for London (TfL) new of new working practices in April this year which closed down all Tube station ticket offices replacing over 800 jobs with ticket-vending machines.

Remaining staff were "redeployed" as solo-workers on station gatelines to assist passengers with the expected difficulties with tickets machine which do not have the capacity to deal with the variety of customer needs - like replace broken or damaged Oyster cards, give change to large notes, give details of how to make a tube journey.

But machine breakdowns, can't deal with Oyster and cashcard retentions and are unable to deal with - and are contributing to - long queues which have added significant stress to Tube journeys which have led to more and more increasing passengers venting their frustrations on our staff.

A TSSA survey of tube staff assessing the impact the so called Fit For the Future operational changes in September revealed high levels of anxiety amongst our Customer Service Assistants members asa rest of the changes with 79pc of staff having experienced a sharp increase in verbal and physical abuse from passengers unhappy at the degraded customer service available to them.

The survey also revealed staff cuts mean the tube is now running out because of overtime rosters

Said TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes:

"Our industrial action ballot is not a localised matter for Londoners, it should concern everyone in Britain who comes to London or has relatives in our capital city because this is not a dispute about wages, it's our members being prepared to take part in a strike to let the world know that the Tube they are using is not fit for safe purpose.

"Our customer service assistants are overwhelmingly trying to warn the public that the Tube they use is not safe. We no longer have enough staff, enough evacuation trained staff, enough CCTV monitoring staff and not enough staff to staff stations effectively.

"Our members will as a last resort go on strike to safeguard passengers. They are prepared to forego wages and risk media and management wrath to let the public know that our capital's Tube is no longer safe enough. This strike vote must not be dismissed as mindless-militant action. Instead it's an act of desperation by mindful and public-spirited customer service assistants at their absolute best by putting passenger safety before anything else."

Ballot details here: London Underground ballot results
Strike dates and action short of industrial action will be announced shortly.

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